Media

What's in a Label?

6 Apr 2013 at 13:50

I’m sure the general reaction to what I am about to write will be ‘get over yourself’, or worse, but in the words of the Beautiful South, I’ll carry on regardless!

Have you noticed that many people in public life, no matter what they have gone on to do, will never escape what made them famous in the first place. I don’t know if it’s sheer laziness on the part of journalists and producers, but Jacqui Smith is always described as “former Labour Home Secretary”. I suspect if she went on to win a Nobel Prize for Literature, Sky News would still introduce her on the paper review as “former Labour Home Secretary”.

I gave up my then political blog in December 2010. I haven’t been a member of the Tory Party for two years, yet I am still constantly described by people as “Tory Blogger Iain Dale” even in stories related to my job at LBC. To be fair, Sky now caption me as LBC Radio Presenter’, but the BBC usually insist on using the term ‘Conservative Political Commentator’. I find this perplexing. Why do pundits on the right always have to have the word ‘Conservative’ attached to them, whereas left wing pundits like Kevin Maguire and Owen Jones don’t have the word ‘Labour’ used? Owen will protest that he is not ‘of’ the Labour Party – maybe not, but he and Kevin are doubtless fully paid up Labour members. I decided to quit Tory Party membership when I became a regular LBC presenter, and I think most people who listen to my show will know what I do not push a Tory agenda in any way shape or form.

I’ve given up making a big deal out of it because I know that I will have the phrase ‘Tory Blogger’ hung around my neck until the day I die. Mind you, I have certainly been called worse.

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